Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Sins of Lance Armstrong

When an American sportsman is involved in an expanding drug scandal, what title should a self-respecting French newspaper use? "The (An) Expanding Drug Scandal"? "Controversy in the Cycling World"? "Lies"? "A Lie"? No: The Lie (emphasis mine).

This in spite of the fact that in its body, the editorial states that "the daily L'Équipeclaims that the man with obiquitous yellow jacket has lied."

Regardless of what turns up in Lance Armstrong's antics or lack thereof, this has all to do with equating Americans with liars, cheats, greedy devils, duplicitous scoundrels, and treacherous hypocrites. (You know, like, say, that fella in the White House — for whom the religion-rejecting avant-gardistes dusted off the expression "original lie".)

Indeed, within the second sentence of this editorial about cycling, sports, and doping, Le Monde had managed to place the name of …George W Bush.

What, not surprisingly, can one read in the comments section of the editorial? "Isn't there something rather typical of the Bushian environment … : cheat and terrorise those who denounce cheating?" Belgium's Michel C adds that the Bushian environment "is not to be confused with the American one". But, as this website has made clear again and again, when and where have there been as many denuncations of the Putinian environment, of the (of China's) Huan environment, of the Mugaben environment, of the Saddamian environment? (Didn't the former president of Iraq have, if memory serves me right, a slight tendency to stretch the truth, once in a while? Wasn't he in the habit of intimidating his opponents somewhat?)

Gratefully, a Tikaf points out the anti-Americanism inherent in the article: "whether Lance is chums with GW Bush is nobody's business but his own." Equilateral adds that the title ought to have been "the sin", the sin being first to have been American and second to have as friend "a certain George W. Bush": "Quickly, the execution pole." Patrick V wonders how the article would have read had the cyclist champion accused been French, while Chaps shakes his head at the "hypocrisy of the journalists who are trying to gain notoriety and shoot down an American" — ce ne sera "pas la première fois et pas [la] dernière"…

Pointing out the "deep-rooted anti-Americanism" and the "undescribable jealousy" in this affair, Stroemer points out that "in your editorial you introduce no presumption of innocence whatsoever. Your accusation and your judgment are categorical and definite: Armstrong is guilty."

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